DALLAS, TEXAS- UFC 211 is in the books, and Stipe Miocic successfully defended his Heavyweight title whilst Joanna Jędrzejczyk put on a masterclass to defend her Women’s Strawweight title. Here are our takeaways from Saturday’s event.
Stipe Miocic is one of the greatest Heavyweights in UFC history
It was surprisingly quick and one sided, but Miocic is still the UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world. The Ohio native successfully defended his title for a joint record second time with a first round technical knockout victory over Junior Dos Santos.
The Brazilian did not get off to a bad start, landing some stiff calf kick that buckled the champion. It was a technical popularised by Benson Henderson and is getting used more and more every year. However, Miocic’s pressure would soon begin to tell. He backed Dos Santos up against the fence and fired off some shots. Not all were successful, but eventually a big right hand landed and the challenger crashed to the mat. Miocic, smelling blood, pounced on Dos Santos and poured on the ground and pound until the referee stopped the fight at 2:22 in the opening round.
It was not only the perfect revenge for a previous loss for Miocic, it is also a victory that puts him near the top of the all time greatest Heavyweights list. He has tied Tim Sylvia, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, and Cain Velasquez for all time successful heavyweight title defences with two. One more title defence would see him break the record, and if he does how can you not consider him to be the greatest Heavyweight in UFC history?
Miocic will have to go a long way to match Fedor Emelianenko in terms of MMA Heavyweight greatness, but a long title reign at 265lbs in the UFC has proven ultra difficult to come by, in fact Miocic’s could become the longest if he wins his next fight.
Not only has he been winning since the first Dos Santos fight, the manner in which he has been getting the victories is very impressive. He has finished his last five opponents, all by (T)KO, a list that includes all time greats such as Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum. Miocic is up there for certain, it is just a question of how far can he go?
Many felt this was a career defining fight for the girl who is simply known as ‘Joanna Champion’. Not only was she in search for a fifth title defence, she was also facing one of her most dangerous opponents yet in Jessica Andrade. It was expected to be a close fight, one that Joanna could possibly lose. What happened was a masterclass.
For 25 minutes, the Pole dominated her opponent and put on a clinic on how to fight a brawler. Her striking was, like always, on point. She stuck, she moved, she defended takedowns, she got back up and more importantly she won the decision. All three judges scored all five rounds to Jędrzejczyk (50-45, 50-45, 50-44) who remains the UFC Women’s Strawweight champion and makes her fifth title defence.
Andrade had some success in the first round as she landed a right hand that caused some swelling on the champion’s head, and followed it with a hard takedown. That was about as good as it got for the challenger as Joanna was able to get back to her feet and lands some nice kicks and elbows to close out the round.
Jedrzejczyk settled in the second round, and from here the domination started. The jab was on point for the duration as she peppered the Brazilian throughout. She found a home for her punches and kicks and caught Andrade every time she would advance into range. Joanna’s output was once again incredible, throwing 361 strikes, and landing 215- it was a masterclass. The closest Andrade came to getting stopped as late in the third, but the tough Brazilian kept moving forward despite being badly out-fought by the Champion.
There is no doubts now, Jedrzejczyk is incredible and belongs in the greatest of all time discussion. She has a body of work that shows all her qualities from her technical striking, to her conditioning to how she adapts to different opponents and outclass every one of them. She is now only one win away from matching Ronda Rousey’s six title defences, another record she can break within the next 12 months. Then a move to Flyweight? That remains to be seen, but her desire to become two division champion is evident. If Joanna is able to move to 125lbs and dominate that division, then there will be no doubts that she is the greatest female fighter ever.
UFC president Dana White said that the winner of this fight will face Tyron Woodley for the Welterweight title, but in the WME era nothing is for certain. Gone are the days of number one contenders, it is all about the money fights, and despite how good he is, Demian Maia does not sell.
It raises questions of the legitimacy of the UFC as a sports league when the rightful people are not getting their shot, and surely Maia can no longer be denied. It was a close fight against Jorge Masvidal, as shown by the split scorecards, but Maia got his hand raised and if he did not already deserve a shot, he certainly does now.
It took less than two minutes for the Brazilian to get the takedown he needed, and take the back of Masvidal who defended well throughout the round. The high level grappling exchanges appeared to has tired both fighters out in the second round and as a result it was a much more even affair. Masvidal stuffed a takedown and landed some good kicks, but Maia took his opponent down late in the round and possibly secured the round. The final stanza followed a similar pattern. Masvidal got the better of the early exchanges, but half way into the round Maia got his takedown, took the back and looked for the submission. Masvidal defended well to make the horn, and the fight went to a decision. The judges scored it 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in favour of the Brazilian, the winner by split decision was Maia.
The UFC should give Maia his title shot now after a seventh straight win. He has beaten a whole host of opponents in that time, and there is nothing left but to fight for the title. As for Masvidal, despite losing he showed just how good he is. The improvements he has made since losing to Lorenz Larkin have been incredible. He is a top class Welterweight and could fight for the title himself in the future.
Whilst Joanna’s masterclass was a thing of beauty, Frankie Edgar’s beating of Yair Rodriguez was ever more brutal.
Edgar did not allow Rodriguez to use his range and his flashy kicking game to effect with takedowns and ground and pound. Things got from bad to worse for the Mexican when an elbow hit his eye and it swelled up to the point he could not see out of it. The doctor rightfully called an end to the fight and Edgar ran away the winner by TKO after the end of the second round.
It might have been a little too much too soon for Rodriguez. He had looked good in the UFC prior to this fight, but Edgar is a much higher level fighter than anyone ‘El Pantera’ had previously faced, and it showed. It was a beat-down for ‘The Answer’ who found no question posed of him difficult to answer.
A step down in competition for Rodriguez should be next in order to get him back on track. The 25 year-old still has a lot of potential at Featherweight, but he needs to develop a little bit more before he can compete for the Featherweight title.
The future for Edgar feels very unsure. He has already fought and lost to Jose Aldo twice, so if the Brazilian wins the title at UFC 212, should Edgar get a shot? There does not seem a desire to see that fight again, especially given how the second fight went. If Max Holloway wins, then maybe Edgar gets a third shot at the title. But for now the future of the former Lightweight champion remains up in the air.
David Branch made a winning return to the UFC by defeating Krzysztof Jotko via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28). It was not the greatest fight on the card, but the former World Series of Fighting champion got his second UFC stint off to a good start with a win over a top 15 opponent.
Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier was a great fight to finish the prelim card, but unfortunately it ended on a sour note. Poirier hurt Alvarez badly after landing a left punch to the chin, but somehow Alvarez fought back and landed his own counter left to stun Poirier. Unfortunately Alvarez would land some illegal knees and the bout was ruled a no contest.
Stipe Miocic def. Junior dos Santos via TKO in Round 1.
We may receive compensation for products purchased via affiliate links on this website
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.